USSoccerPlayers Archives for January 2017

Soccer TV: Crystal Palace vs Manchester City

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The weekend soccer TV schedule has plenty from the Premier League and Serie A, with the Premier League playing on New Year's Day. The highlight game is the one standing in the way of Manchester City continuing their Premier League winning streak.

Crystal Palace vs Manchester City at 7am on Sunday on NBCSN.

What the USMNT can look forward to in 2018

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By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 29, 2017) US Soccer Players - Yes, this was a strange, vexing year for the USMNT and those who support them. Every turn of the calendar provides a chance for renewal, and none more than this one as both program and Federation enter an extended period of transition.

Is the Red Bulls’ strategy the new normal for MLS?

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Dec 29, 2017) US Soccer Players - By now, you've heard the somewhat surprising news that the New York Red Bulls are actively shopping playmaker Sacha Kljestan. By the time you read this, Kljestan could be a member of LAFC, Minnesota United, Orlando City, or some other MLS team.

Watching sports for the holidays

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It's an interesting time for sports businesses across the world. They're being told by anybody with a stake that the only thing that matters anymore is their live programming. That means pushing as much of that as possible. In Europe, it's the Premier League most associated with the holidays.

The LA soccer market in 2018

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By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Dec 28, 2017) US Soccer Players - This year has some life left in it still, but 2017 will carry nothing more of significance for Southern California-based soccer fans. The final weekend of the year will be spent gazing aimlessly at leagues across the pond, of consuming rumors and speculation about potential player movement in MLS, or watching preseason Liga MX matches.

Manchester City keeps winning

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Manchester City added three more points to the top of the Premier League table, shutting out DeAndre Yedlin's Newcastle United 1-0 away. Raheem Sterling scored the game's only goal in the 31st minute. For City, it's more of the same with 19 wins from 20 games this season, 18 in a row, and no losses.

How Sacha Kljestan Would Fit in Orlando

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By Jeff Rueter – SAINT PAUL, MN (Dec 28, 2017) US Soccer Players - Few teams have had a busier first month of the MLS offseason than Orlando City. Desperate to make the postseason in their fourth year, the Lions were bound to see a massive change in personal.

Original face of the franchise Kaka hung up his boots, regulars like Antonio Nocerino, Giles Barnes, and Dillon Powers were shown the door.

The offseason trend in MLS

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Dec 27, 2017) US Soccer Players - The word "trend" in a modern context suggests something ephemeral. Even if the shift of direction eventually morphs into the status quo, the initial push towards establishing it can only happen once. Trends aren't fads, but they also aren't exactly accepted as permanent from the outset, either.

Tim Ream scores for Fulham

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The soccer news returns from the holidays with the results from the Boxing Day schedule in England. In the Premier League, Danny Williams was on the bench for Huddersfield Town's 1-1 home draw with Geoff Cameron's Stoke City. Tom Ince put Huddersfield up in the 10th minute with Ramadan Sobhi equalizing in the 60th.

Looking forward to North American soccer in 2018

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By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Dec 26, 2017) US Soccer Players – The final week of December is a time to look forward to a new year. It is also a time to look back on the last 12 months. American soccer came to a crossroads in 2017. There was some negative, but plenty of positives to emerge from a sport that continues to gain in popularity.

Stoke City beat West Brom, away win for Newcastle United

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The roundup for USMNT players in Europe focuses on the Premier League, the Championship, and the Eredivisie. In the Premier League, Geoff Cameron's Stoke City beat West Brom 3-1 at home. Stoke City took the lead through a Joe Allen goal in the 19th minute. Maxim Choupo-Moting doubled Stoke's advantage two minutes into first-half stoppage time.

Soccer TV: Real Madrid vs Barcelona

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It's the clasico from La Liga on the weekend soccer TV schedule with an early morning start. Also this weekend, NBC has a doubleheader of Premier League games on network TV. There are no game on the schedule for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Real Madrid vs Barcelona at 7am on Saturday on beIN Sport.

MLS and the expansion message

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By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 22, 2017) US Soccer Players - Three years ago Major League Soccer changed their logo. The progressive "brand identity" was built in particular around three stars arrayed in the upper left corner. The league let us know that the stars "represent the pillars of our brand: For Club, For Country, For Community.

Nashville, NYCFC, and the MLS expansion model

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Dec 22, 2017) US Soccer Players - Major League Soccer descended upon Nashville on Wednesday where they announced the 24th franchise. The mayor of Nashville, Megan Barry, the governor of Tennessee, Bill Haslam, and the lead investor in Nashville's MLS bid, John Ingram, joined MLS commissioner Don Garber in celebrating the news that first division professional soccer is coming to the Music City.

Monterrey wins 2017 Apertura Copa MX

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Friday's soccer news starts with the conclusion of the Copa MX. Monterrey won the 2017 Apertura edition, beating Pachuca 1-0 at home. Omar Gonzalez got the start for Pachuca, with the club returning for the final after participating in the FIFA Club World Cup. Monterrey's Aviles Hurtado scored the game's only goal in the 57th minute with Juan Pablo Carrizo keeping the clean sheet.

Nashville and the Southeast MLS footprint

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By Jeff Rueter – SAINT PAUL, MN (Dec 21, 2017) US Soccer Players - On Wednesday, Major League Soccer confirmed that Nashville would be joining the league as an expansion side. The announcement concludes a year-long formal pursuit for the Music City.

At first, Nashville seemed like a total longshot to get the nod.

Nashville officially joins MLS

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MLS made it official on Wednesday, adding Nashville as an expansion team. The team plans to build a stadium at the Nashville fairgrounds complex. MLS expects to name a second expansion team soon. Approval of the Miami expansion bid is also on the horizon, with an announcement potentially coming next month.

Mixed results for USMNT players in the DFB Pokal

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The DFB Pokal round of 16 was on the midweek schedule in Germany, the last games before the Bundesliga winter break. Weston McKennie subbed on in the 79th minute for Schalke in their 1-0 home win over Cologne. Maximilian Meyer scored the game's only goal in the 63rd minute with Ralf Fahrmann keeping the clean sheet.

The Galaxy’s goalkeeper issue

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By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Dec 20, 2017) US Soccer Players - Over the years, the LA Galaxy have had numerous standouts at many positions, from play makers to goal scorers to tough-as-nails defenders. It's been awhile since goalkeeper was in that category. Not surprisingly, it was the goalkeeping that let the team down on many occasions during the tumultuous 2017 season.

The status quo in the CONCACAF Champions League

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Dec 20, 2017) US Soccer Players - Toronto FC just made history over the course of the 2017 MLS season. Toronto became the first Canadian MLS team to life the MLS Cup, part of a triple haul of trophies. They also set the MLS record for most points earned in a season.

MLS in Nashville

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The soccer news starts with the news breaking across multiple outlets that MLS is expanding to Nashville. An MLS public event scheduled for Nashville later today would be a bigger surprise if it wasn't welcoming the city as an MLS expansion franchise.

Nashville will join a league that has made it clear that there's no expectation of struggling in an expansion market.

The 2018 CONCACAF Champions League asks an old question

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It's the draw for the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League in the soccer news, with the same old question. Will an MLS team finally show they can win this thing, or is it still Liga MX's tournament?

CONCACAF's attempt at creating something clubs and fans in the region care about has hit another intersection.

The soccer player as coach

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By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Dec 18, 2017) US Soccer Players –The phenomenon of the player/coach in soccer may not be something currently in vogue, but some of the world's best players have held that dual role. Legendary players such as Gordon Strachan, Kenny Dalglish, Glenn Hoddle, Ruud Gullit, Gianluca Vialli, and Graeme Souness have all done so.

The Club World Cup repeats the obvious

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The soccer news starts with Real Madrid lifting the Club World Cup for the second year running. Surprising no one. Cristiano Ronaldo was the difference, scoring in the 53rd minute in the 1-0 shutout of Gremio. In the 3rd-place game, Pachuca had no problem beating Al Jazira 4-1.

ESPN FC's Tim Vickery makes a point about what the Club World Cup really says about the state of soccer.

3rd-place for Gonzalez, late winner for Christian Pulisic

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Omar Gonzalez and Pachuca took 3rd-place in the FIFA Club World Cup with a 4-1 win over Al Jazira on Saturday. Jonathan Urretaviscaya put Pachuca up in the 37th minute with Al Jazira equalizing in the 57th. Franco Jara scored for Pachuca in the 60th. Roberto de la Rosa added a goal in the 79th with Angel Sagal converting a penalty in the 84th.

Weekend Soccer TV: Manchester City vs Spurs

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It's Manchester City hosting Spurs in the Premier League on network TV on the weekend soccer TV schedule. There's also the final of the 2017 Club World Cup with Real Madrid playing Gremio. CONCACAF representative Pachuca has Al Jazira in the 3rd-place game.

Manchester City vs Spurs at 12:30pm on Saturday on NBC.

World Cup 2026 bid explainer

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By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 15, 2017) US Soccer Players - You've probably already heard about the US, Canada, and Mexico partnering to launch a sprawling bid to host the 2026 World Cup. The three nations have submitted an ambitious plan for the first edition of FIFA's expanded 48-team tournament.

Waiting for the MLS expansion announcement

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Dec 15, 2017) US Soccer Players - Thursday was supposed to be a big day in the race for the next two MLS expansion franchises. The cities of Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville and Sacramento remained standing after a nearly year-long process that winnowed a dozen cities down to four.

Miami takes another MLS step

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Friday's soccer news starts with the latest from the ongoing saga that is MLS expanding to Miami. We now know that the league is fine with the changes to the investor/operator group that will back David Beckham's MLS expansion team. With that settled and a stadium plan in place, the expectation is a quick conclusion to what has been a lengthy process to officially award a Miami MLS team.

LAFC works the expansion draft

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By Jeff Rueter – SAINT PAUL, MN (Dec 7, 2017) US Soccer Players - With an ownership group boasting stars ranging from Mia Hamm to Magic Johnson to even Will Ferrell, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Los Angeles FC would buck some trends The team was the lucky winner of the multi-year Carlos Vela lottery, finally checking the boxes for the Mexican international.

Fixture congestion in the Premier League, win for Schalke

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Wednesday's soccer news starts with a "stop us if you've heard this before" moment from the Premier League. Following a scoreless draw at West Ham United, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger took issue with the schedule.

"We lacked maybe a little bit of sharpness in the final third we had many different good opportunities where they blocked our shots," Wenger said.

It’s time for LAFC vs the Galaxy

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By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Dec 13, 2017) US Soccer Players - That sound in downtown Los Angeles of hammers and drills, the beep-beep-beep of cement trucks backing up is helping forge two things. LAFC's Banc of California Stadium offers such an array of noises, promising to leave in its wake a modern stadium that will certainly captivate LA.

Toronto tells their story

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Dec 13, 2017) US Soccer Players - When Toronto FC joined Major League Soccer more than a decade ago, the league was only just launching into something that could be called the "modern era". 2007 was the first year of the Designated Player rule, a groundbreaking step by MLS leadership that allowed clubs to sign high-priced players with famous pedigrees.

CONCACAF’s Club World Cup run ends early

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We may be seeing the beginning of the end of the Club World Cup, at least as we know it. FIFA is reportedly considering a revamped summer tournament held every four years with 16 clubs. It's in part a response to the unlikeliness of the Confederations Cup continuing since they can't reasonably hold it in Qatar in the summer of 2021.

Timmy Chandler returns from injury in Eintracht win

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The roundup of USMNT players in the Bundesliga and Premier League starts with Timmy Chandler. The USMNT defender returned from injury in Eintracht's 2-1 win at Hamburg. Kyriakos Papadopoulos put Hamburg up in the 9th minute. Eintracht equalized when Marius Wolf scored in the 16th minute and went ahead for good on a Mijat Gacinovic goal in the 24th.

Lifting trophies in Toronto

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By J Hutcherson (Dec 12, 2017) US Soccer Players - Toronto isn't exactly title town in any sport. The Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series back-to-back in the early 90s, the high point for trophies their southern neighbors would care about. The NHL's Maple Leafs are a marquee club that hasn't skated with the Cup since 1967.

Too much too soon in the Champions League knockout round?

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The soccer news starts with the wasted match-up scenario in the Champions League. Real Madrid finished second in their group, meaning the bouncing balls that determine the round of 16 could make things interesting. That's exactly what happened. The defending champions will play PSG in the round of 16, meaning one of the favorites in the 2017-18 Champions League won't make the quarterfinal round.

The 2017 MLS season in review

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By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Dec 11, 2017) US Soccer Players – Are they the best team in MLS history? That's the question many are asking following Toronto FC shutting out Seattle for the 2017 MLS Cup. Winners of the 2017 MLS Supporters' Shield and the Canadian Championship, Toronto has the treble.

Toronto’s trophy and the challenge for the rest of MLS

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The soccer news starts with a new MLS Cup champion. Toronto FC took the title and made it about a team coming together to makeup for almost getting there the year before. 2016 loomed large for Toronto throughout 2017. They knew what that felt like, and not revisiting that disappointment became the driving push behind their 2017 success.

New coach for Christian Pulisic

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The roundup of USMNT players in Europe and Mexico starts with a new coach for Christian Pulisic. Borussia Dortmund fired Peter Bosz following the 2-1 loss to Werder Bremen. The club named Peter Stoger as his replacement. Stoger is a former Austrian National Team player who was most recently the coach of Bundesliga club Cologne.

2017 MLS Cup: Toronto FC 2 – Seattle Sounders 0

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Toronto FC won the 2017 MLS Cup on Saturday, beating the Seattle Sounders 2-0 at BMO Field. Once again, Jozy Altidore made the difference for Toronto, scoring in the 67th minute. Victor Vazquez doubled the lead four minutes into stoppage time. Alex Bono made two saves to keep the clean sheet.

Don Garber doubles down on MLS ways in State of the League address

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By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 8, 2017) US Soccer Players - Do you hate Major League Soccer's single-entity system? Driven to rage and heartbreak by the Columbus Crew's investor/operator's flirtation with Austin, Texas? Frustrated and confused by the league's gratuitously complicated and confusing roster and salary rules?

Soccer TV: Toronto FC vs Seattle Sounders

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It's the MLS Cup final on the weekend soccer TV schedule. Toronto FC hosts the Seattle Sounders on ESPN for the second year in a row. The 2017 Liga MX Apertura season concludes over the weekend with the second-leg of the final series.

The MLS Cup still has plenty to prove

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Dec 8, 2017) US Soccer Players - It's been quite the week inside the MLS bubble. The stories around the final between Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders are clear and numerous in the lead-up to an MLS Cup rematch.

Waiting on Toronto vs Seattle

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We're a day away from the conclusion of the 2017 MLS season. Toronto FC hosts the Seattle Sounders in the MLS Cup final on Saturday (4pm ET - ESPN) with the story lines firmly in place. That might not mean much when the game gets underway. Last season's final turned into a grind with both teams unwilling to risk much in pursuit of a goal.

Portland’s coaching search

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By Jeff Rueter – SAINT PAUL, MN (Dec 7, 2017) US Soccer Players - The Portland Timbers seem to be a team on the cusp of reaching their potential. Joining MLS in 2011, Portland seemed poised to tap into the success their northern neighbors were already having. Promising early returns showed up in fits and starts through their first two seasons.

Another December to care about the FIFA Club World Cup

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The FIFA Club World Cup began on Wednesday with Al-Jazira knocking out Auckland City 1-0 in the playoff game. FIFA's unloved world championship for clubs resumes in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday with the quarterfinal round. That's when CONCACAF's representative makes their debut.

The Galaxy reconsiders player development

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By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Dec 6, 2017) US Soccer Players - This season was a disaster for the LA Galaxy on many levels. The Galaxy was the worst team in the league, fired their head coach in July, and won a paltry three home games. Bad loss followed bad loss. In a season centered on player development, the Galaxy ended up horribly exposed.

Diego Valeri made picking an MLS MVP easy in 2017

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Dec 6, 2017) US Soccer Players - There's something extra to Portland Timbers star Diego Valeri winning the 2017 MLS MVP award. It's not just his excellent season with 21 goals and 11 assists while playing in all 34 regular season games.

Is there an edge in the MLS Cup final?

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With the countdown on for Saturday's 2017 MLS Cup final, the two teams did the media rounds on Tuesday. There were no surprises, expected considering there's a championship on the line. Since this is a rematch of the 2016 MLS Cup final, there's not a lot of mystery left between the two teams.

What if Seattle gets a hockey team?

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By J Hutcherson (Dec 5, 2017) US Soccer Players - We all know the Seattle soccer success story. As the vanguard of the Pacific Northwest MLS expansion movement, the Seattle Sounders are the team that draws the biggest crowds. Portland might want to argue that they've got the best atmosphere in Major League Soccer, but Seattle has the stadium capacity.

Portland’s MVP

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The one thing that could make Diego Valeri's 2017 MLS story even better is if the Portland Timbers were still playing. Valeri won the 2017 MLS MVP award by setting a new standard for an MLS midfielder. As many pointed out before and after the award, Valeri also sets a standard as a person.

REPORT: Sunil Gulati will not run for another term as US Soccer president

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Sunil Gulati announced through an interview with ESPN's Sam Borden that he will not run for another term in the upcoming US Soccer Federation presidential election. Gulati was eligible for one more four-year term under the US Soccer Federation's term limits. He became US Soccer president in 2006 and was twice re-elected unopposed.

Portland’s Diego Valeri is the 2017 MLS MVP

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Portland's Diego Valeri won the 2017 MLS Most Valuable Player award, the league announced on Monday. Valeri scored 21 goals and had 11 assists in a season that saw the Timbers finish top of the Western Conference in the regular season. Valeri set the new record for goals by a midfielder.

The World Cup draw starts the story

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By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Dec 4, 2017) US Soccer Players – The World Cup draw is set. What comes next is six months of speculation. Which teams will advance? Can Germany repeat as champion? Can Brazil capture a sixth World Cup trophy? Will newcomers Iceland and Panama make any impact?

The 2017-18 Champions League group stage plays out

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The soccer news starts with the final week of the Champions League group stage. We already know half of the teams that will advance to the knockout round. Filling out the rest of the bracket and who takes four of the eight group winner spots is still in play. That's good news for UEFA, with the Champions League regularly facing criticism for too many group stage games counting for too little.

Tough results for USMNT players in the Premier League

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We start the roundup of USMNT players in Europe and Mexico with the Premier League. DeAndre Yedlin subbed on in the 85th minute for Newcastle United's 3-1 loss at Chelsea. Newcastle took the lead in the 12th minute through a Dwight Gale goal. Chelsea equalized in the 21st, adding goals in the 33rd and 74th minutes.

Seattle vs Houston gave us a lesson on soccer players and aging

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By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 1, 2017) US Soccer Players - Soccer fans and analysts often engage in a dour sort of ageist arithmetic about players. The ones in their mid-to-late 20s are deemed "in their prime." Those on the north side of 30 tend to not get the same respect.

Soccer TV: Arsenal vs Manchester United

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It's national television for Arsenal and Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday with that game on NBC. Borussia Dortmund is at Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga on FS1 on Saturday. The weekend soccer TV schedule also has the second-legs of the Liga MX playoff semifinals on Saturday and Sunday.

New coaches in MLS

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Dec 1, 2017) US Soccer Players - While the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC prepare for a rematch of last year's MLS Cup final, the business of trying to make sure the pair don't play each other again for the Philip J.

MLS Cup rematch and the league’s Best XI

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Seattle advanced on Thursday, setting up the MLS Cup rematch that looked like a foregone conclusion as the MLS playoffs developed. There's no argument against the Seattle Sounders as the best team in the West. Toronto's run to host their second-consecutive MLS Cup only looked questionable on the scoreboard.

Seattle Sounders win the Western Conference

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The Seattle Sounders advanced to the 2017 MLS Cup with a 3-0 win over the Houston Dynamo, taking the Western Conference final 5-0 on aggregate. Leading 2-0 from the first-leg, Victor Rodriguez opened the scoring at CenturyLink Field in the 22nd minute. Clint Dempsey added a goal in the 57th. Houston's Tomas Martinez saw red for violent conduct in the 66th minute.